Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Thrills and Spills for Oceanbridge Auckland Anniversary Day Regatta Racing Fleet

Winner of the Best Presented Tug, Ronaki. Supplied image.

by Susan Robinson-Derus

Squalls and boisterous seas made for thrilling sailing in the 170th Oceanbridge Auckland Anniversary Day Regatta on the Waitemata Harbour.

A 500 strong fleet of vintage, classic and modern day vessels including tall ships, gaff riggers, sloops, racing keelers, sailing dinghies, radio controlled boats, elegant classic yachts, including two Australian challengers, and around 20 perfectly restored tugs and work boats competed in a full day of competition in testing conditions.

While the giant modern tugs made relatively easy work of the strong winds and buffeting seas in their race, it was a test of seamanship for many sailors, with winds gusting to 30 knots in churning seas.

“Conditions were pretty boisterous with strong winds and an outgoing tide which made for exciting racing,” said Principal Race Officer Chris Collins from the official race committee boat, HMNZS Taupo, one of the new inshore navy patrol vessels. The frigate, HMNZS Te Mana, with the Governor General aboard, was the flagship for the day.

“We cancelled the Mahurangi to Princes Wharf race because of the strong winds but all other events went ahead. We’ve had reports of a few gear failures and capsizes but that is all part of the sport and skippers and crews were put to the test and had to use all their skills.”

Auckland Anniversary Day Regatta

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